Renaissance Gnome




We love a good narrative, and found this tiny gem of a tale by David Fredrickson, author of the novel "Life On All Fours," to be especially poetic, inspiring and delightful.

Once upon THIS time, there lives a garden-dweller, a descendant of the original renaissance lineage when gnomes were beautiful, wise and tenacious. She is not at all like the dwarfed, unseemly creatures—plastic statues in gardens with plants that have forgotten their names. You see, she remembers and listens as she touches the earth—oleander, belladonna, cymbidium, sunflowers and fern, roses and hydrangea. This is sacred soil where the caretaker tills and toils and imagines. She nurses the young; sees promise where others would discard and prunes branches that need a surgeon’s touch. Her love is full exposure and dances with the joy of birth. Her love sometimes is not sweet as she uproots those who prefer their power unchecked. The magic of her garden is music—spirituals that rumble deep from ancestral graves, jazz that travels like hummingbird poetry, old school soul that dances behind the lemon tree, arias that float like a breeze and symphonies that explode with wind and rain. Pay attention and you will hear whispers among the silhouettes of giants, Marcus, Malcolm, and Harriett.  She is the guardian of treasures buried in the earth—the wellspring of history that feeds tender roots—reminds them of whence they came and where they will go. And as the sun traverses the horizon and seasons cast new shadows, she coaxes and coaches, moves and transplants—life always requires just the right amount of light.

In times such as these we ask with wide-eyed apostolic hope, “How do you make a garden grow?” She shrugs her shoulders, bends down and clips an exploding pink peony, and then as if the answer was as obvious as dirt, she says, “Become a gardener.”